The Early Days

Electromangetics Laboratory and Some Activities Therein at UNLV
Founded & Directed by
Robert A. Schill, Jr.


The Electromagnetics Laboratory at UNLV was founded in early Spring of 1994 by Robert A. Schill, Jr. A group of planned interdisciplinary experiments aided in the formation of the laboratory through government and industrial equipment loans. By Fall of 1994, the laboratory was equipped with a pulsed ruby laser with high voltage power source (Fig. 1), a CO2 laser (Fig. 2), a rf shielding room (Fig. 3), a couple of optics tables (Fig. 1 and 2), old but still state of the art real time (nanosecond) oscilloscopes (Fig. 3), a data acquisition system (Fig. 3), and a couple of 10 mW, polarized, HeNe lasers. The director with the aid of three high school students assembled the rf shielding room and organized the laboratory. The laboratory currently supports this equipment.


Some of the activities conducted in the laboratory are exhibited in Figs. 4-11. A pockel cell and source are being carefully characterized in Fig. 4 for use in a Q-Switch system (Summer and Fall 1994). The director designed, and with the aid of three high school students, built a 1 to 12 G tesla coil (Fig. 5). The coil was tested with a guass meter at EG&G Energy Measurements Inc. The coil was used in biological behavior experiments headed by Dr. Robert A. Schill, Jr. [Electrical Engineering] and Dr. Karin Hoff [Biology] to study 60 Hz interaction with biological systems. Experimental studies with this coil were completed in the Fall of 1995.


A more precise, flexible 10 mG to 10G Helmholtz coil was theoretically studied and designed during the Fall of 1995 and Spring 1996. The coil was built in June of 1996 (Figs. 6-7) with the aid of three undergraduate students (Fig. 8) [Names: Center of coil - Simon Sirin; left to right - Mike Bridenburg, Bob Sadeghi, Robert A. Schill, Jr.]. The coil was setup and tested [Figs. 9 and 10] in the laboratory in July of 1996 and compared with theoretical predictions [Fig. 11]. The coil is currently being used in biological experiments.


A novel electrostatic air filter with diagnostics is currently under construction. Figure 12 exhibits a poor man's wind tunnel in the background and the designed electrodes in the foreground. A model Faraday tube is under test in Fig. 13. This will be employed as a first attempt measure the charge on a charged dust particle. Corona breakdown is anticipated to occur in the region near the electrode edges as shown in the circled region of Fig. 14. The theory and numerical study was developed by my group.


In the early 2000s, the Nevada Shocker was built based on Marx bank and Blumlein technologies. The Nevada Shocker is a moderate size pulsed power device that has the potential of generating a 540 kV, 7 W, 50 ns pulse. The Nevada Shocker was housed in the Pulsed Power Laboratory in the Engineering College and UNLV and was used to facilitate research on the properties of materials in a harsh electromagnetic environment.

Click here for more about the Nevada Shocker, including information on experiments, photos, drawings and more.

Nevada Shocker


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Last Updated: 12/6/20 1:39 PM